NEW DELHI: It’s rare to have your childhood and adulthood bloom in the same environment. Parvin Paul is one such lucky man who witnessed the growth of flowers and trees in the parks he grew up in. All his life, he has cherished the green cover around his house and has been managing and promoting the maintenance of parks in this South Delhi locality.
Paul, who became the President of Residents Welfare Association of Vinoba Puri in Lajpat Nagar II last year, has been maintaining the beautifully manicured parks of the area for over 20 years now. “I am environment-friendly and this love for greenery was in me since childhood. It was an effortless hobby for me though there were days when I had to work harder to get things done. Gradually, I took help from the local authorities including the municipal corporation. Youngsters and women in the area also came forward at several times. Now, I get the work done with just a phone call,” Paul told The Sunday Standard.
The Vinoba Puri area and the surrounding area has around five to six parks, the biggest park is the Lala Lajpat Rai Park. “The Lala Lajpat Rai Park was an absolute jungle but we pursued the local authorities and slowly rehabilitated it. Today, it has an open gym and a playing area with a green lawn and walking pathway. It is used by people from several blocks across this area. We are trying to fix the walls on the other end of this big park now,” Paul explained.
Residents who enjoy the exercise in the morning gym laud the efforts of reviving the park. “We used to get scared of entering this park. It was completely barren but today not just us who live close by but also people from far away blocks come to enjoy walks and exercise here. We are so glad it was reformed,” Rubina, a young resident of the same locality said.
These lush green parks have fruit trees including Jamun, Mango and Pomegranate. In front of Paul’s house is another park surrounded by residential houses. It is again carpeted with greenery and used by the residents. While his memories are of childhood in this particular park, he recalls a bad memory too.
“Some years back, a child went to take the ball from the transformer which is at one of the corners of this park and he was electrocuted. I can never forget that day. We immediately fenced this transformer,” he shared. Over the years, the citizens have become more aware and concerned towards the conservation of nature and environment, according to Paul.
“Due to pollution and climate change, I have seen a change in people. Now they are more concerned and aware due to media campaigns. This is the best sign over years about the shifting mentality towards nature,” he added.
He also said that earlier people would celebrate marriages and sometimes religious functions in the park but over time that culture has also changed. “Now there is more understanding. There is rarely some small function inside the park which has no affect on its maintenance.”